Note to self: read this

Note to self: read this when you get home.

In college, I once stumbled upon a traffic engineering book and read it cover to cover looking for the whys and hows of freeway design (growing up in Southern California had something to do with my fascination with traffic). I was surprised, and dismayed to find that most engineers treated drivers as fluids and liked to induce bottlenecks every so often, so they could “control” traffic flows in sections, like one would control sections of plumbing.

But I knew that humans in cars were not at all like fluids that could be modelled as cleanly as the authors thought. I was happy to see this site about traffic behavior, because it touched on the psychology of drivers. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that in order to alleviate the traffic woes on the local freeways, psychologists should be employed in the design process of freeways, and that the psychology of driver behavior seems to be a poorly understood aspect of highway engineering. Hopefully the above article I just found goes deeper.